I picked this book up at a Barnes and Noble because: 1. I liked the title and cover art 2. Frank McCourt spoke highly of it in a review on the cover....moreI picked this book up at a Barnes and Noble because: 1. I liked the title and cover art 2. Frank McCourt spoke highly of it in a review on the cover.
The very first line made me laugh out loud, eliciting strange looks from the other customers in the Jeep dealership waiting room where I sped through the lion's share of this book.
While I enjoyed a fair amount of this book a great deal, I found the storytelling to be somewhat uneven. While the authoress does a wonderful job explaining her youth as the child of liberals in New York City, as she ages within the memoir the telling becomes less engaging. Perhaps the ability to report one's own life with true clarity is a function of time. By the end, when she tells of her revelation in a David's Bridal salon (the denoument for which the book is entitled), I felt as though she had been given an imposed page limit by her editor and was scrambling to fit her life into two more chapters. The time in her life from University on garners only three chapters, I came away feeling that she either should have written a longer book, omitted those years, or written two books (through high school then university on, for example).
I give the first half of this book (up through the Christmas Pageant) five stars, and the second half three stars, so I split the difference and rated the book four. (less)
I honestly believe in my heart that every American woman from about age 25-35 read this book around the same age I did. Either one of her friends told...moreI honestly believe in my heart that every American woman from about age 25-35 read this book around the same age I did. Either one of her friends told her about it, the school nurse gave it to her, or her mom bought it and said it would explain things.
This book is occassionally banned by school districts due to its discussion of female puberty and religion. I don't remember it being especially new when I was the age of the characters (Blume sets many of her novels in Princeton, and we ALL read them). At this point, some of the discussions are a bit laughably dated, but it's not a bad book, and is probably still a cornerstone of literature for the tweenie crowd. (less)
This is a well-written book with one "flaw"-- for me, I had a very difficult time processing the main character. The lead in this book is so completel...moreThis is a well-written book with one "flaw"-- for me, I had a very difficult time processing the main character. The lead in this book is so completely addicted to shopping and self-centred she is incapable of seeing how her actions hurt everyone else. While it was well-written, I spent at least half the pages wanting to find the "heroine" and smack her for her complete lack of discipline. (less)
This is one of the only books I have ever read in my entire life where the film actually improved my perception. It took me about three years to read...moreThis is one of the only books I have ever read in my entire life where the film actually improved my perception. It took me about three years to read this, and the only reason I ever finished it was because everyone else seemed to think it was so great, I thought I must be missing something.
I am generally bothered by books and films wherein the main character is offered an incredible opportunity, but because they are worried they are sacrificing themselves, they toss it out the window. (I am willing to add the film "What a Girl Wants" to this general category). I had no sympathy for the lead character in this novel... if she had true sense of self, she could keep her job while not becoming her boss.
While I realize that these stories are supposed to be inspirational tales of right triumphing, I always feel vaguely disgusted when I finish them-- to a great extent, they remind me of what we are told at the beginning of law school. If you go into your first year with good morals, an awareness of right and wrong, and a need to help people, you can come out of law school and make a difference, despite the grueling courses and backstabbing classmates. If, however, you are scum, law school will refine your techniques.
If the heroine in Prada was truly strong, she would not have had to sell her soul, she could have kept the job and realised it was just that... A JOB.
Just plain disappointing. Do yourself a favour... if you feel you MUST muddle through this, rent the movie. Streep plays a truly inspired bitch. (less)
I had picked this up as the third novel by Ms. Giffin, having already read her first two ( Something Borrowed,...moreI have mixed feelings about this book.
I had picked this up as the third novel by Ms. Giffin, having already read her first two ( Something Borrowed, Something Blue). All the characters in her books seem to be somewhat interrelated, and the back cover looked interesting, especially since I, like the heroine, am a thirty-something woman exceedingly tired of being asked when I will have children. Like Katherine Hepburn, I suspect I am just far too selfish to make a decent mother, and I think it should reflect WELL on me that I know this and don't have kids, not POORLY on me that I am actualized enough to realise this before they were born.
I was very happy with the beginning of the book. Boy and Girl Meet, Boy and Girl Don't Want Kids, Boy and Girl Get Married, Have Lovely No Kid Life. I was thrilled to finally have a literary heroine. But then, for me, the book took a disappointing turn.
I realise in real life that many times people make the decision that the love of their life is more important, or that some women do decide later that they want children. But for those of us who purchased the book thrilled that a woman was finally taking a stand and saying "I don't want kids and I refuse to make excuses or be embarrassed by it", it was a great disappointment at the end of the book that she took her husband back and seemed to be waffling on the baby issue. There are some things I don't think one SHOULD compromise on, and for once I would really like to have seen the heroine take the hardline stance, whether she got the husband back or not.
Since one of the fundamental reasons I purchased the book was defeated through an overly cautious plot choice by the author, I need to knock stars off (you can't do half stars, this would be 3.5). However, the writing is up to Giffin's normal standards, and it's a fast, easy, engaging read. (less)
I am a great fan of Helen Fielding's work, to a point. I simply adore the Bridget Jones books, as do many people. When I came across this book at the...moreI am a great fan of Helen Fielding's work, to a point. I simply adore the Bridget Jones books, as do many people. When I came across this book at the dollar store, I thought I had hit paydirt... a Fielding novel for a dollar?
I could not have been more disappointed. The character development is weak, and Fielding shows none of her insight or understanding of the human psyche and shortcomings that shines so clearly in the Jones books. If you loved Bridget, do yourself a favour, skip this one, and try the Shopaholic books by Sophie Kinsella instead. (less)
I read the Marian Keyes novels completely out of order, having started with a copy of Watermelon my mum leant me when I was home on break. As a resul...moreI read the Marian Keyes novels completely out of order, having started with a copy of Watermelon my mum leant me when I was home on break. As a result, I perhaps saw the Sullivan girls mature in a slightly different order than other people who read the books in "order."
Nevertheless, I was confused by this book, and one other, Rachel's Holiday. From the initial character development I got on Anna and Rachel, I always felt that it would have made far more sense to send Anna to rehab.
This book was even further for me. This isn't a bad book. The writing isn't bad, although the plot is a bit strange. My main complaint about this novel is that, for my money, except for a few small flashbacks that fill in the missing years between books, this novel has NOTHING to do with the Anna we meet in the other books. Pretty much all of the Anna, the pretty, somewhat diaphanous hippie we meet in the other books-- is explained away in a few pages, which sum up a whirlwind of her life and dismiss every other instance of her in the series. I felt discomfited by this fact, especially since I felt that the actions of the character in this novel were not in tune with those which would have been taken by the character I knew.
All in all, I felt if Keyes felt she needed to write this book, it should have been written as a stand-alone; I didn't feel the plot was well-served by being compressed into a standing character structure that really did not allow for the interplay between the characters here. If nothing else, again, I feel this book would have been better "delegated" to Rachel. (less)
As I mention in my review of another Keyes work, I read the Sullivan books out of order, and, as a result, may have developed a slightly different sen...moreAs I mention in my review of another Keyes work, I read the Sullivan books out of order, and, as a result, may have developed a slightly different sense of the characters. This may have coloured my view of this book.
I had two main complaints about this novel. First, to a great extent, the theme has been beaten to death since going into rehab became chic. If Sandra Bullock has made a motion picture about something, it is not new. (Don't get me wrong, I love her, but "edgy" she is not.)
Second, I had a hard time with the choice of character that Keyes sent to rehab. The entire time I read this book, I kept wondering to myself why Keyes didn't send the Anna character to rehab, since every time we see her in the earlier books, the girl is too stoned to function. She loses jobs, wanders off, and forgets to go to class. Then, suddenly, Rachel ends up in rehab for an entire book, and Anna goes clean in a chapter of another book (a seperate issue I cover in my review of Anna's novel). I just never quite got past the idea that Keyes sent the wrong person in; and couldn't reconcile that completely enough in my head to truly enjoy the book. (less)